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LinkedIn Essentials Social Series

Essential Guide: LinkedIn

Don’t count out LinkedIn from your personal or business social media strategy! With 810 million members, it’s not the largest social network but there are 58 million companies on LinkedIn and 4 of 5 users “drive business decisions”. 

This summer, as an active member of the OWA’s Digital Marketing Committee, I have assembled a social series of blog posts that cover the essentials of the major social networks. Last month the post covered Facebook while the previous post covered Instagram.

If there is anything you would like clarified or if you have any additional questions, feel free to comment at the end of the article or send me a private message on LinkedIn.

Why LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an extremely important aspect to improving your personal and company’s search engine results. For example, when I Google “Optical Women’s Association” our LinkedIn page appears as the 4th result, after the OWA website, Instagram and Facebook. That’s incredible! As for personal, when I Google “Carissa Dunphy”, my LinkedIn page appears as the first result, even before my own website and some of my author pages on websites that get very high amounts of traffic. 

While you can use LinkedIn for personal use, for your company, or both, this article will cover how using it for each purpose can be beneficial. I will also cover several how-to’s that apply to either kind of usage. 

Personal Professional Use

Personal LinkedIn profile

Fields to populate

  1. Headline (appears beneath your name in everyone’s feed when you post an update)

  2. About

  3. Featured (select from your previous posts or links you would like featured at the top of your profile)

  4. Experience 

  5. Add positions and/or career breaks

  6. Title, company, industry

  7. Dates

  8. Descriptions

  9. Education

  10. Licenses & Certifications

  11. Volunteering

  12. Skills (this is where LinkedIn Skills assessments appear)

  13. Publications

  14. Courses taken

  15. Honors & Awards

  16. Projects

  17. Patents

  18. Languages

  19. Organizations

  20. Causes

  21. Interests (pages you follow)

Your LinkedIn Profile Builds Trust and Credibility

Throughout my career any time I have worked on a collaborative project with anyone, or got handed a business card, I made sure to connect with that person on LinkedIn. It’s always nice for someone you’re working with to see what you’ve done and what your skills are. In hindsight I’m glad I started doing this many years ago as it’s built up my network quite nicely.

Resume/Business card+

Another good habit to get into is to keep your information updated. If you start a new role, gain additional skills, take an online course, pass a LinkedIn Skills Assessment, get an article published, etc, you should update it in your profile so your profile is always accurate and ready to go at any time.

Pro tip: Use the “Save to PDF” option to save or print a resume formatted PDF version of your profile. From the desktop version (not on mobile) click the “more” button in your header to generate the PDF. 


Another feature is that when you view someone’s profile it shows if you’re linked to that person through someone else – two or three degrees of separation. If you ever need an introduction it is useful to be able to use this mutual connection to get an introduction from.

Follow Companies and Hashtags

People you’re connected with, companies you follow, and hashtags you follow are what populate your news feed with content. When you pull up the page of a company you can +follow them to ensure you get their updates. The pages you follow will appear at the bottom of your profile in the “interests” section.

Discover more of the niches you like by following industry specific hashtags. I have found a countless number of new people to follow because their hashtagged post appeared in my feed, because I follow that particular hashtag. 

Creator Mode

You can turn on “creator mode” for your profile to grow your reach and influence. As a LinkedIn creator, you can share the topics (hashtags) you post about the most. This will make it easier for other LinkedIn members to discover your content and follow you. You can see in my personal profile that creator mode is on and it displays my selected topics as “Talks about #optician, #opticians, #optometry, and #eyeglasses” beneath my title.

Business/Company Usage

Completing your company page is just as important, if not not more important, than completing your personal page. Companies with a complete, active LinkedIn page see 5x more page views and get 7x more impressions  and 11x more clicks per follower. 

Important Fields To Complete:

  1. Page info

  2. Custom button with link – options include: contact us, learn more, register, sign up, visit website

  3. Company info

  4. Workplace benefits

  5. Location info

  6. Collecting leads

  7. Community hashtags

  8. Featured groups

Share Your Page

To gain followers people need to get to your page. One way to do this is to add links to your page on your or employees email signature and social icons on your website. You can also encourage employees to follow the company page. 30% of a company’s engagement on LinkedIn comes from employees.

Invite Connections To Follow


When on your page you have an option to “invite connections”, 100 per month, for free. Because you are already connected, they know and trust you, this results in a high conversion rate of getting your connections to accept your follow request. LinkedIn keeps count of how many out of the 100 you invite and your quantity renews at the beginning of a new month. 

Ask Employees to Update Employer

Once you have a company page, encourage your employees to edit their employer – when they type in the name they can select the company page that already exists. Doing this will allow anyone who looks at their profile to click on your company name, which then goes to the company page. Note: these employees will also show up on the company page on the “employees” tab. 

Job Listings

LinkedIn is one of the most used platforms for job listings. It’s very user friendly to search and it’s very easy to apply for positions when your profile is up to date and pretty much a resume already. You also get the benefit of LinkedIn’s high ranked results in search engines; You can have confidence that your listing will be seen. There are 77 job applications submitted every second on LinkedIn.

Both Personal or Company Items

Profile Photo

Don’t underestimate the importance of a good profile image! Users scroll through quickly and you want your tiny little photo to stand out. When in a feed, a personal profile image will be cropped to a circle; No matter what you upload, all four corners will not appear. A company profile photo will appear as a square and not cropped to a circle. Make sure you edit the image appropriately so everything that should be seen appears correctly. When editing, don’t zoom out too much or the profile image will be too tiny to recognize. 

Cover Photo

The cover photo is prime real estate and visibility for those who visit your page, the big header image at the top of your page of both your personal or business page. This can be used for a larger logo, a photo that represents your brand, events, promotions, announcements, you name it. I’ve found it best to edit the cover photo to have extra empty space around all edges with the main message in the center – this ensures something important doesn’t get cropped out on mobile vs. desktop.

Use Keywords In Bio

Whether filling out your personal headline or company info, use a few keywords specific to your position or industry. Try to incorporate them naturally so it reads well. 

Posting Tips

  1. Optimal number of hashtags to use: 1-5

  2. LinkedIn posts with images get 2x higher engagement

  3. Incorporate hashtags anywhere into your LinkedIn posts. As of January 2022 the most followed business-related hashtags are:

  4. #innovation

  5. #management

  6. #digitalmarketing

  7. #entrepreneurship

  8. #careers

  9. #marketing

  10. #socialmedia

  11. #socialnetworking

  12. #branding

  13. #professionalwomen

  14. Get hashtag suggestions from LinkedIn as you create an update.\

  15. Find trending LinkedIn hashtags in the “news and views” section on the home page

Well, there you have it. I realize that there is much more to LinkedIn than what I included in this article, but this is what I deemed “essential” with a few extra tips. 

You should revisit your about section and bio at least once a year, or every six months, to make sure the information is still current.

Want to help the OWA with our Facebook presence? Consider joining the OWA’s Digital Marketing Committee.

Stats provided by Hootsuite

Written by: Carissa Dunphy

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